In this episode of Inner Nature, Patricia Jennings, who goes by “Tish,” and Owsley Brown offer insights on their work as collaborators for the Compassionate Schools Project, a curriculum that integrates empathy and mindfulness into elementary school education. Youth today, they say, are facing higher levels of anxiety and depression than previous generations in part due to rapid social and environmental change. Through the Compassionate Schools Project, Tish and Owsley have found that teaching practical tools, like meditation and self-awareness, creates remarkable shifts in how kids respond to these stresses. They discuss how these mindfulness practices help today’s youth prepare for and weather rapid change and develop into curious, creative, and resilient adults with the will and courage to enact the change needed to heal our planet.

 

 

About "Tish" and Owsley

 

 

Patricia Jennings is a professor of education at the University of Virginia and an internationally recognized leader in social and emotional learning and mindfulness. She is a co-author of Flourish: The Compassionate Schools Project curriculum and is a co-investigator on a large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy. Tish is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth. She was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018 and recently recognized by Mindful Magazine as one of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know."

 

Owsley Brown is a student of theology, a host and producer of the national interfaith event “The Festival of Faiths,” and a documentary filmmaker and producer known for films such as Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. He is Chair of the Compassionate Schools Project, and also works with several foundations and nonprofit boards to support projects that sustain healthy communities by enhancing cultural, spiritual, and civic life.

 

 

Further reading and points of reflection:
Education for Peace: Transforming our Schools with Mindfulness and Compassion